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Is this false assumption why or why not?

Health care is expensive because the vast majority of Americans consume it as if it were free.


geez i dont know why I had thumbs down if i was only asking a question from my assignment..

20 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    False assumption. Where is your proof that a "vast majority... consume it as if it were free"? Health care is expensive more for the fact that the medicines and supplies needed to give quality health care is expensive. It all travels up the economic cord to the root of the problem, which usually ends up being a circle in that all people and greedy companies are to blame for outrageous health care costs. There are a lot of people to provide care for and a lot of greedy companies who want their pocket lined.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Health care is not really expensive, believe it or not.

    There are major problems with the way it is bought and sold that monkey with the prices, but consider the alternatives.

    What would you pay for a life-saving operation, or a drug that keeps you from being locked up in an asylum, or a vaccine that prevents horrible sickness and scarring?

    Given the ability of the modern health care system to save you from illness, pain, and an earlier death - and spare you from having a huge percentage of your children suffer and die while you watch helpless, what is a fair price?

    It is probably the case that on a per-unit-of-effectiveness, medicine is cheaper now than it was 50 years ago.

    Consider where it comes from:

    Very highly trained people who would be making a fortune in law or business or politics if they were not doctors.

    Performed in hospitals that cost more to build and more to fill with machines etc than anything else humans create.

    Staffed with nurses who work around the clock and have to pay attention to your bodily fluids etc.

    A setting where everyone involved can be sued for everything they've got whether or not they did anything wrong.

    An industry that spends billions every year trying to improve the quality of its product and succeeds all the time.

    What should we charge for this product?

    That said,now:

    Take that product, separate the person paying for it from the person ordering it, make it all buffet-style where you consume as much as you want once you walk in, and give it free to whoever cannot afford it.

    You're gonna have a mess, which is what we have.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Absolutely True, though there is more to the explanation, like Zak said.

    Greed is NOT the reason. Every industry and business and entrepreneur is motivated by greed, but none of those industries show the kind of inflation we see in health care. Many greedy people get rich by making their products cheaper, not more expensive. That's the benefit of competition. Why is health care different?

    Whenever there is extra-high costs and inflation, there is some problem involving demand, supply, and probably supplier competition. And yes, demand is definitely very high because many consumers are shielded from the true cost of their consumption. People who would never dream of not tipping some uneducated waitress get offended that they have to make a $15 copay after taking up an hour of time from some doctor who has enormously expensive training and education. That's a big part of the cause of high costs.

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  • 1 decade ago

    True, because most people either have health insurance, which means they don't directly pay health care cost, and others who don't have insurance clog up emergency rooms for free service.

    Bottomline is most don't directly pay for health care cost so there is no price incentive to reduce demand.

    Imagine if you had grocery insurance, and just showed a card at the supermarket then went in and picked what ever you want. What would be the impact on the cost of groceries.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You assumption is totally false.

    We have price rationing of health-care in the U.S (which is immoral in my view).

    Systems with socialized medical insurance could conceivably have those effects, but in those systems health-care delivery is scientifically rationed based on medical need, not ability to pay.

    Costs are high because risk is not shared by everyone, only a few. Yet, the law mandates that health-care cannot be denied based on ability to pay (it is immoral). Therefore, those who do have insurance pay for those who don't. Hospitals that provide critical care to needy people try to pass those costs along in the form of higher prices for bedpans, cotton swabs, etc.

    A national health insurance system folds EVERYONE into the same risk pool, thereby lowering costs for all.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes - that is a false assumption. There are numerous reasons health care is expensive in this country. Most have to do with greed (corporate profits) for the drug companies, hospitals, insurance companies, executives ... and so on.

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  • Zak
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    There are many other factors as well, but that statement is 100% TRUE, despite what others are saying.

    It is the magic invisible "third-party" paying for our health care. Americans keep no track of costs because our employer, insurance, government will pay for it, so why bother paying attention to costs.

    If a third party paid for your food, would you eat Taco Bell or Ruth Chris? If a third party paid for your car, would you buy a used Ford or a Lexus?


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  • NC
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The reality is the opposite of your assumption. In countries where people actually consume healthcare as if it were free, i.e., where healthcare is financed largely out of tax revenues and costs pretty much nothing out-of-pocket (and this is pretty much every advanced country except the U.S.), healthcare is actually cheaper. Canada, France, and the UK all spend on healthcare about half of what the U.S. does in per-capita terms, but have higher life expectancy and significantly lower infant mortality.

    Read this essay for some food for thought:


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  • 1 decade ago

    Health care is expensive because of the tarrifs & corporate greed. No need to blame the victims

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    false. It's because the government doesnt pay people enough to pay off doctors. And people are always going to get sick. SO--it's the government tryin to make a few more bucks to pay off their own debt.

    Medicines are the same way--other countries have already found cures for some cancers with herbal treatments, but the US refuses it.

    We live in a bad enviroment, it's not our fault we get sick.

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